European Diplomatic Missions Urge Israeli Regime to Halt Demolitions in West Bank
- May, 27, 2023 - 17:21
- World news
TEHRAN (Tasnim) – A consortium of European diplomatic missions, led by the Office of the European Union Representative to the West Bank and Gaza, called on the Israeli regime to cease all demolitions of schools and structures constructed with humanitarian assistance in the West Bank.
They also urged Israel to allow unhindered operations for humanitarian workers in the region, including East Jerusalem al-Quds.
In a joint press statement released on Friday, consulates general from Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, along with representative offices of Denmark, Finland, Germany, and Ireland, as well as the EU office to the West Bank and Gaza, condemned the Israeli regime for the recent demolition of an EU-funded school in the Palestinian village of Jubbet al-Dhib near Bethlehem. They also expressed concern over the potential demolition of 57 additional schools in the West Bank.
The school in Jubbet al-Dhib was razed by Israeli forces in early May, citing lack of proper so-called permits in the West Bank. The European Union strongly criticized the action, with one spokesperson expressing shock upon hearing the news.
In their communication with Israeli authorities, the diplomatic missions demanded the return or compensation for all humanitarian items funded by the consortium of donors. They estimated the total value of demolished, dismantled, or confiscated donor-funded items since 2015 to be approximately 1,291,000 euros (nearly $1.4 million).
The missions also expressed grave concern for over 1,000 Palestinians facing imminent displacement from Masafer Yatta, an arid area in the West Bank designated as a live-fire training zone by the Israeli military.
Furthermore, the diplomatic missions highlighted Israel's failure to protect Palestinians and prosecute violent settlers, referring to recent incidents in the Palestinian towns of Burqa and Huwara. They underlined their worry about statements that incite violence and emphasized that settlement expansion has contributed to increased settler violence.
The missions called on Israel to cease settlement expansion and to stop denying Palestinian development in the West Bank, citing the international community's view that all settlements in the region are illegal.